EDITOR’S NOTE: It’s a busy time in MLS with the offseason in full swing and we’ve got you covered on all 27 teams as they continue preparations for 2021. Here you’ll find team-by-team breakdowns including their transfer dealings so far, what’s next, the latest rumors are and ever-evolving Week One projected XIs. This post is regularly updated.

Incomings and outgoings. Silly season never stops. Preseason is here, friendlies are happening!

Teams have been hard at work curating their squads, but there’s still time for clubs to make big changes so keep in mind it’s a work in progress.

Projected XIs are not scientific. 


Atlanta United

Updated: Fri., Mar. 26 @ 12 p.m. ET

Here’s the latest: There has mainly been negative updates regarding Atlanta’s seemingly-cursed search for another center back, but the latest is positive. Nothing official yet, but their chase of Independiente’s Alan Franco seems to be close to completion. As we’ve learned, of course, don’t get too excited until the club makes it official. 

Transfer window analysis (so far): New head coach Gabriel Heinze is in town and orchestrating the preseason sessions, and his hiring was the biggest addition of the offseason for Atlanta. The rising Argentine manager was a candidate many hoped to see with the club after Tata Martino stepped away two years ago, but he’s here now. Santiago Sosa is a big start to additions to mold the squad in Heinze’s vision.

Sosa starred for his country at the 2019 U-20 World Cup and is considered a big talent. The heart of midfield needed some retooling and Sosa should be a key cog, perhaps Franco Ibarra as well. The moves come after trading Eric Remedi, whose role got minimized towards the end of last season, to San Jose.

Biggest question/hole: It’s currently center back, as described above, even after signing Alex DeJohn as a depth piece. It must be an area of concern for the club who have been well and truly unlucky with a trio of strong targets. 

Beyond that, could Andrew Gutman’s signing-then-loan-to-RBNY signal George Bello’s medium-term future is away from the club? 

Rumors have it: Keep following the center-back saga.

Projected XI (4-3-3, right to left): Guzan; Hernandez, Robinson, Walkes, Bello; Sosa, Hyndman, Moreno; Damm, Martinez, Barco


Austin FC

Updated: Fri., Mar. 5 @ 10 a.m. ET

Here’s the latest: Helping round out their inaugural roster, Austin traded for midfielder Sebastian Berhalter and signed Slovenian defender Zan Kolmanic. 

Transfer window analysis (so far): Austin are getting closer to the end of building their inaugural roster, adding some solid pieces from within the league and abroad. Alex Ring, Nick Lima and Matt Besler will be stalwarts and leaders of the team, three consistent and proven products in MLS. They’ve also hit the international market with Tomas Pochettino, Rodney Redes, Cecilio Dominguez and Jhohan Romana, among others. 

Biggest question/hole: It would have been No. 10, but Pochettino checks that box, while Berhalter adds depth behind Ring. 

It probably has to be center forward, though they have a number of options led by Danny Hoesen. 

Rumors have it: Not much on the rumor front since Pochettino signed.

Projected XI (4-3-3, right to left): Tarbell; Lima, Romana, Besler, Sweat; Ring, Pereira, Pochettino; Redes, Hoesen, Dominguez


Chicago Fire FC

Updated: Fri., Feb. 5 @ 3 p.m. ET

Here’s the latest: No moves for Chicago this week, though Przemyslaw Frankowski received his US green card which opens an international slot. A source says the club expects two more players to get green cards to open international slots, which would help solve their problem of having too many players needing international slots.  

Transfer window analysis (so far): The last two offseason have been polar opposites. The club had a rebrand in 2020, then hired a new front office and coaching staff before making a huge number of additions, many of whom arrived long after preseason started. This year? They retained most of that squad and have already made four signings, plus traded Djordje Mihailovic to Montréal. The squad continues to get younger, too. All before Christmas, the club added forward Chinonso Offor (age 20), defender Jhon Espinoza (21) and winger Stanislav Ivanov (21). 

The Fire even made a move for next season, adding 17-year-old Colombian youth international forward Jhon Duran. He’ll join for 2022 after he turns 18. He’s the youngest international signing in league history and was being tracked by the likes of Villarreal, Club Brugge and other European clubs, sources tell MLSsoccer.com  

Biggest question/hole: Can Ignacio Aliseda pick up the creative slack left behind by Mihailovic? Chicago’s other two DPs (Robert Beric and Gaston Gimenez) have been strong contributors, as was expected for the in-prime players, though Aliseda took a bit longer to settle in. The youngster has talent and will get plenty of chances in 2021.

Projected XI (4-2-3-1, right to left): Kronholm; Espinoza, Pineda, Calvo, Bornstein; Gimenez, Medran; Ivanov, Aliseda, Frankowski; Beric


FC Cincinnati

Updated: Fri., Mar. 19 @ 11:30 a.m. ET

Here’s the latest: It’s official: Luciano Acosta is Cincinnati’s new No. 10. The former D.C. United star joins from Atlas in Liga MX, gone from MLS for just 14 months. 

Transfer window analysis (so far): Acosta joins Brazilian youth international forward Brenner as two big splashes as Cincy look to rebound from a brutal first two seasons in MLS. Brenner was acquired from Sao Paulo in one of the most expensive signings in MLS history and can play through the center or on the wing, a big addition to an attack that struggled mightily in 2020. Head coach Jaap Stam said he and last year’s big DP Jurgen Locadia can play together as well. 

The connection between Acosta and Brenner (Locadia and the rest of the attack, too) will be integral to Cincy’s success. They scored the fewest goals in MLS last season and were among the worst in the league for creating chances. Acosta is here to hopefully change that. Cincy also acquired fullback Ronald Matarrita from NYCFC, checking one big box off the to-do list, getting a written-in-pen starter at left back for the foreseeable future.

Biggest question/hole: Even with Brenner and Acosta in, Cincy still have a few needs, chief among them center back. GM Gerard Nijkamp was open and direct with the fact they are still in the market for a center back and a winger. Will they arrive in time to settle and debut in the season opener or come later? 

Beyond that, they have a big decision to make on Locadia’s future, as his loan expires in the summer.

Rumors have it: What names will emerge as center-back targets?

Projected XI (4-3-3, right to left): Tyton; Gyau, van der Werff, Petterson, Matarrita; Mokotjo, Amaya, Acosta; Barreal, Brenner, Locadia


Colorado Rapids

Updated: Fri., Mar. 5 @ 3 p.m. ET

Here’s the latest: The busiest team this week, the Rapids signed a number of young players, including homegrowns Darren Yapi and Oliver Larraz. They then traded for the homegrown rights to defender Michael Edwards (D.C. United) and Dantouma Toure (New York Red Bulls).

Transfer window analysis (so far): The big news this window was trading for Michael Barrios from FC Dallas, as Colorado added the pacy winger for an international roster spot and 2021 SuperDraft pick swap. Barrios had five goals and 15 assists in 2019, and while he didn’t enjoy the same statistical success in 2020, he was tied for fifth in MLS in chances created from open play. He joins a deep winger group alongside Jonathan Lewis, Nicolas Benezet and Braian Galvan, while Younes Namli and Andre Shinyashiki can play there as well. 

Getting Philip Mayaka with the No. 3 overall pick in this year’s SuperDraft was a steal as well.

Biggest question/hole: The Rapids have a strong base and room to add another difference-maker or two. What positions will they be targeting? They believe in Andre Shinyashiki and Diego Rubio at center forward, but they are the only two natural strikers on the roster. Cole Bassett’s future is another storyline to watch. The rising US youth international has plenty of suitors in Europe.

Rumors have it: Not much at the moment.

Projected XI (4-3-3, right to left): Yarbrough; Rosenberry, Abubakar, Trusty, Vines; Price, Acosta, Bassett; Barrios, Rubio, Namli


Columbus Crew SC

Updated: Thurs., Mar. 11 @ 3:30 p.m. ET

Here’s the latest: The reigning MLS Cup champions got richer, signing Romanian youth international attacker Alexandru Matan.

Transfer window analysis (so far): It’s been quite the offseason for Columbus. The Crew returned their core and didn’t have a ton of work to do, but got better and deeper. They went out and signed Kevin Molino and Bradley Wright-Phillips on the free-agent market, while Matan is another big coup. They addressed defensive depth with Marlon Hairston, too. 

Their starting front four is among the best in MLS, highlighted by Lucas Zelarayan. Their backup unit wouldn’t be a bad starting group in MLS: Wright-Phillips, Luis Diaz, Alex Matan and Derrick Etienne. 

Biggest question/hole: There really aren’t any! Maybe their starters will be stretched too thin for a real run at the Supporters’ Shield with CCL and all the international tournaments? Run it back for 2021.

Rumors have it: Nothing of late. 

Projected XI (4-2-3-1, right to left): Room; Afful, Mensah, Wormgoor, Valenzuela; Artur, Nagbe; Molino, Zelarayan, Santos; Zardes


FC Dallas

Updated: Fri., Mar. 26 @ 12 pm ET

Here’s the latest: After a quiet month or two on the transactions side, Dallas signed first-round SuperDraft selection Nicky Hernandez to a first-team contract. He was with North Texas SC in USL League One last year.

Transfer window analysis (so far): It started off a busy winter for Dallas. While Bryan Reynolds’ future gained most of the attention before his historic transfer to AS Roma, they traded longtime winger Michael Barrios to the Rapids, then signed wingers Freddy Vargas and Jader Obrien, as well as former Kentucky standout Kalil ElMedkhar after acquiring his homegrown rights from the Union. They even got back Brazilian youth international GK Phelipe, as well as defender Bressan, and landed center back Jose Antonio Martinez from Spain. 

Biggest question/hole: With Reynolds gone, they’ll need a long-term solution at right back. There are some whispers that Ema Twumasi will be that guy, and Dallas also have Eddie Munjoma, but they’ll need to sort that. Paxton Pomykal’s health, once again, is a big question as well. Are they good with their options out wide now or will there be more to come?

Rumors have it: Nothing of late around FCD. 

Projected XI (4-3-3, right to left): Maurer; Hollingshead, Hedges, Martinez, Nelson; Santos, Tessmann, Ricaurte; Obrian, Jara, Pomykal


D.C. United

Updated: Fri., Mar. 26 @ 12 p.m. ET

Here’s the latest: D.C. added forward Nigel Robertha from Bulgarian club Levski Sofia, a former Dutch youth international who is eligible to represent Curacao’s national team. The 23-year-old had 20 goals and eight assists in 39 appearances for Levski. 

Transfer window analysis (so far): At long last, D.C. United found their next head coach. Argentine manager Hernan Losada was appointed from Belgian club Beerschot. He is the youngest active head coach in the league.

Losada helped guide Beerschot to promotion to the Belgian top flight and promises high-energy, vertical soccer. The club have since made additions to an already intriguing squad, adding Kimarni Smith (No. 4 overall SuperDraft pick), Brendan Ike-Hinds (from K.V. Kortrijk), Jovanny Bolivar (Deportivo La Guaira) and now Robertha. 

Biggest question/hole: Even before making some additions, United had some strong talent on this roster, headlined by Edison Flores, Ola Kamara and Julian Gressel. Gressel is no stranger to “high-energy, vertical soccer” during his time with Atlanta United under Tata Martino. But what formation does Losada favor?

Where do all the new pieces fit? Do any of the new signings immediately jump into the starting XI? How will the backline hold up with Steve Birnbaum out a few months? 

Rumors have it: United are reportedly close to bringing back Argentine attacking midfielder Lucas Rodriguez. 

Projected XI (3-4-1-2, right to left): Hamid; Pines, Brillant, Birnbaum; Gressel, Moreno, Canouse, Mora; Flores; Robertha, Kamara,


Houston Dynamo FC

Updated: Fri., Mar. 19 @ 12 p.m. ET

Here’s the latest: Former Dynamo winger Niko Hansen signed with Minnesota United, who acquired his rights from Houston for $125,000 GAM. 

Transfer window analysis (so far): This winter was finally the time for Mauro Manotas’ run in Houston to come to an end. The Colombian forward had long been rumored with a move abroad after becoming a club-favorite. The Dynamo got a decent return for him and have a number of attacking options already acquired in preparation for life without Manotas and Alberth Elis.

Some familiar MLS faces have new homes in Houston. Tim Parker, Maxi Urruti, Derrick Jones, Fafa Picault and Joe Corona all headed to Houston in intra-MLS moves. Parker is probably the biggest get of the bunch, as defensive reinforcements are greatly welcomed by Tab Ramos’ side.

Biggest question/hole: The Dynamo did fine in creating chances and scoring goals in 2020, though struggled defensively. A number of changes are underway with departures on that side of the squad. Expect them to focus on defensive additions, even in addition to Parker and Bartlow.

Rumors have it: There have been reports linking Houston with interest in Mexico international center back Carlos Salcedo. 

Projected XI (4-3-3, right to left): Maric; Lundkvist, Parker, Bartlow, Valentin; Vera, Corona, Rodriguez; Quintero, Ramirez, Lassiter



Updated: Fri., Mar. 26 @ 12 p.m. ET

Here’s the latest: Nothing for LAFC since acquiring forward Cal Jennings, adding to their attacking depth. He scored 46 goals in 64 games at Central Florida in college. 

Transfer window analysis (so far): LAFC have done a bit of maneuvering, headlined by adding US international attacker Corey Baird and South Korean international right back Kim Moon-hwan.

But getting Jesus David Murillo back might have been most important. The Colombian center back transitioned seamlessly during his first few months in MLS and formed a strong partnership with Eddie Segura. Moon could be a big addition at right back, while there’s time for Baird to grow as he enters his prime and fits into their system.

Biggest question/hole: The attack is still stacked, so much so that even without Carlos Vela for most of the season and some rotation at center forward, they were a force. The defense has been fortified with Murillo, Moon and Marco Farfan. What will they do with the DP spot if Brian Rodriguez’s departure on loan to Spain is made permanent?

Rumors have it: Midfielder Eduard Atuesta has been linked with the likes of Palmeiras and Gremio. A source confirmed to MLSsoccer.com that discussions have happened, but nothing advanced just yet. How much would it take to sell?

Projected XI (4-3-3, right to left): Vermeer; Moon, Murillo, Segura, Palacios; Atuesta, Kaye, Blessing; Vela, Musovski, Rossi


LA Galaxy

Updated: Fri., Mar. 19 @ 12 p.m. ET

Here’s the latest: The Galaxy’s busy few weeks continued, with Victor Vazquez joining after playing a bit in Belgium. The former Toronto FC maestro, now 34, was a free agent. He links up with former head coach Greg Vanney.

Transfer window analysis (so far): Prior to appointing head coach Greg Vanney, the Galaxy cleared as much cap/roster flexibility as they realistically could. They still had as few as 13 (!) players under contract for 2021 to start the offseason, but have gone about filling some spots.

Defense was a focus, as goalkeeper Jonathan Bond arrived while Jonathan Klinsmann returned, and Jorge Villafana adds MLS experience to a backline that struggled to keep goals out. The big acquisition, though, was Irish international CB Derrick Williams. Winger Samuel Grandsir was acquired from Monaco as well, adding to the attack. 

Biggest question/hole: What will the club do with their final DP spot? Have the defensive additions been enough? Do they need another body in central midfield? What does Vazquez have left in the tank?

Rumors have it: All quiet of late.

Projected XI (4-3-3, right to left): Bond; Araujo, Steres, Williams, Villafana; dos Santos, Kljestan, Lletget; Alvarez, Chicharito, Grandsir


Inter Miami CF

Updated: Fri., Mar. 26 @ 12 p.m. ET

Here’s the latest: Busy week for Miami, who signed former Seattle Sounders right back Kelvin Leerdam and agreed a deal for former Arsenal left back Kieran Gibbs, who will join in the summer. 

Transfer window analysis (so far): After one disappointing season in MLS, Miami have a new technical staff with Phil Neville as head coach and Chris Henderson as chief soccer officer. They got started a bit later in the offseason, given their final 2020 match was just under three months ago, but the changes are coming on the precipice of preseason.

Miami moved on from the likes of Wil Trapp, Andres Reyes, Luis Robles, Ben Sweat and many others from their disappointing expansion campaign, then added Brazilian defensive midfielder Gregore and English center back Ryan Shawcross before the latest additions of Leerdam and Gibbs. Gregore seems to be the perfect fit next to Blaise Matuidi and behind Rodolfo Pizarro, adding tenacity to Neville’s midfield. Henderson said it was a player he’s been tracking for a while, dating back to his time with the Seattle Sounders.

Biggest question/hole: What tactics does Neville favor and how will Henderson shape the roster he inherits? Can Neville get the most out of big Argentine investments Matias Pellegrini and Julian Carranza? Will we see the best of Gonzalo Higuain and Matuidi in 2021? 

Rumors have it: All quiet since the Gibbs signing. 

Projected XI (4-2-3-1, right to left): McCarthy; Leerdam, Figal, Gonzalez Pirez, Shea; Gregore, Matuidi; Morgan, Pizarro, Pellegrini; Higuain


Minnesota United FC

Updated: Fri., Mar. 19 @ 12 p.m. ET

Here’s the latest: Minnesota signed winger Niko Hansen, adding to the club’s attacking depth.

Transfer window analysis (so far): The three major moves so far have been signing Jukka Raitala, Wil Trapp and Juan Agudelo. Trapp should be a useful addition at the base of midfield alongside Jan Gregus or Hassani Dotson (or both, when they want a more defensive midfield trio). Meanwhile, Kevin Molino announced his goodbye to Minnesota and was promptly scooped up by Crew SC. The free agent had nine goals and four assists in 19 regular-season appearances last year, then another four goals in the playoffs. Defensive midfielder Ozzie Alonso has also returned for year No. 13 in MLS.

Biggest question/hole: Currently it’s center forward, though Agudelo and Patrick Weah will figure into the depth chart, with the former likely starting.

The questions surrounding Ike Opara’s health and future are big ones, as the two-time MLS Defender of the Year missed all but two games in 2020. 

Rumors have it: Minnesota are now linked with a move for Boca Juniors forward Ramon Abila. Boca is where Minnesota acquired Reynoso from. 

Projected XI (4-2-3-1, right to left): St. Clair; Metanire, Boxall, Dibassy, Gasper; Alonso, Gregus; Finlay, Reynoso, Lod; Agudelo


CF Montréal

Updated: Thurs., Mar. 11 @ 4 p.m. ET

Here’s the latest: The Thierry Henry era is over; Wilfried Nancy has succeeded the French legend as head coach of CF Montréal. He’s their eighth head coach over 10 seasons in MLS. 

Transfer window analysis (so far): A lot of the analysis has changed with Henry’s departure, though Nancy takes over on the touchline will have some new talent to work with.

Montréal’s trade for Djordje Mihailovic represents their biggest move thus far, acquiring another MLS-experienced youngster for a significant bag of GAM. The club definitely needed more chance creators in attack, particularly after Saphir Taider left. Elsewhere, Kiki Struna is a nice pickup for a backline in need of reinforcements. They have also signed a handful of homegrowns. Will any break into the rotation this year?

Biggest question/hole: What formation and style will Nancy play? It was already a question under Henry, who often changed the system and philosophy. 

As for the players at his disposal, Montréal currently have only one DP spot occupied (Victor Wanyama). Two more DPs could really raise the level of the squad. Central defense will need an addition or two, as well.

Rumors have it: Not much in the transfer market lately. 

Projected XI (3-4-2-1, right to left): Diop; Camacho, Struna, Binks; Brault-Guillard, Wanyama, Piette, Mustafa; Mihailovic, Quioto; Johnsen


Nashville SC

Updated: Fri., Mar. 19 @ 12 p.m. ET

Here’s the latest: Nashville inked their first-ever MLS signing, forward Daniel Rios, to a contract extension.

Transfer window analysis (so far): It’s been an offseason of fine-tuning for Nashville. The core remains, but David Accam and Derrick Jones have departed, with Rodrigo Pineiro and CJ Sapong in. Truth be told, a handful of late-summer signings were acquired with 2021 in mind as Jhonder Cadiz and Handwalla Bwana head into their first full season with the club.

Biggest question/hole: Scoring more goals has become a trope with Nashville, though they didn’t have a ton of trouble scoring down the stretch. Also, neither Cadiz nor Bwana made a regular-season start after arriving, so they have more to add to the attack (as well as reportedly another key acquisition). Pineiro is an intriguing signing. They could use some fullback depth, though.

Rumors have it: All quiet at the moment.

Projected XI (4-2-3-1, right to left): Willis; Johnston, Zimmerman, Romney, Lovitz; McCarty, Godoy; Pineiro, Mukhtar, Leal; Cadiz


New England Revolution

Updated: Fri., Mar. 26 @ 12:30 p.m. ET

Here’s the latest: The Revs signed defender Jon Bell and midfielder Maciel from the club’s USL affiliate Revolution II. 

Transfer window analysis (so far): New England needed an addition in midfield and got it early this transfer window via 24-year-old former FC Barcelona center mid Wilfrid Kaptoum. That group will be boosted by Luis Caicedo returning to fitness, in addition to 2020 midseason signing Matt Polster. With Tommy McNamara coming back as well, that aspect of the depth chart appears set. Christian Mafla replaces Buttner seamlessly, while AJ DeLaGarza and Ema Boateng add depth. 

Biggest question/hole: The Revs seemingly have their first-choice center-back pairing set in Henry Kessler and Andrew Farrell, but questions arise in the depth department. Collin Verfurth and Bell both have USL League One experience, though it remains to be seen how they can impact Bruce Arena’s squad. 

Rumors have it: Not much lately.

Projected XI (4-2-3-1, right to left): Turner; Bye, Farrell, Kessler, Mafla; Polster, Kaptoum; Gil, Bou, Traustason; Buksa


New York City FC

Updated: Fri., Mar. 26 @ 12 p.m. ET

Here’s the latest: NYCFC acquired US youth international left back Chris Gloster from PSV. He adds to the club’s defensive depth as he tries to reboot his nascent career.  

Transfer window analysis (so far): NYCFC are stockpiling assets, though lost two written-in-pen starters in the process. They sent captain Alex Ring to Austin FC for up to $1.25 million GAM before the Ronald Matarrita trade to Cincy. With one of the best scouting networks in MLS (and in the world, CFG is well-respected and wide-ranging), it’s an exciting time for the club. They are set in central midfield even without Ring, with a starting trio of James Sands, Keaton Parks and Maxi Moralez already among the top groups in MLS. They also…

Biggest question/hole: … have two open DP spots in addition to a vast reserve of GAM. It’s a huge offseason for sporting director David Lee and head coach Ronny Deila, as they truly get to remake the squad in their vision. They have talent all over the pitch. Where will they invest to hopefully push the team to their first trophy and how do they lessen their reliance on Moralez, who just turned 34?

Deila put it succinctly: “We have a very young squad, the depth in this squad is not good enough to do something in MLS. We need more quality players.”

Rumors have it: All quiet of late, though they have plenty of flexibility still. 

Projected XI (4-3-3, right to left): Johnson; Tinnerholm, Callens, Chanot, Amundsen; Sands, Parks, Moralez; Tajouri-Shradi, Castellanos, Medina


New York Red Bulls

Updated: Fri., Mar. 26 @ 4 p.m. ET

Here’s the latest: The Red Bulls acquired some GAM from NYCFC in exchange for Chris Gloster’s homegrown rights after the former academy standout returned stateside. 

Transfer window analysis (so far): RBNY did some maneuvering at center back: Andres Reyes is in (transfer from Atletico Nacional) and Tim Parker is out (trade to Houston). Reyes is a Colombian youth international who had some moments, but not enough for Miami to pick up his purchase option after playing there on loan in 2020. Parker was in and out of the starting XI, so a trade isn’t hugely surprising. Fabio’s addition is an intriguing one, as the big forward has an impressive highlight clip. How will it translate to MLS?

The Red Bulls appointed Gerhard Struber as head coach in the fall, then he made his MLS coaching debut in the team’s playoff loss to Columbus Crew SC. Can he get the most out of the new signings? 

Biggest question/hole: With Struber, the Red Bulls are streamlining their high-pressing ethos. His Barnsley team was near tops in the English Championship for defensive actions up the field, so expect more of the same in New York. They have plenty of flexibility, both by way of roster designations and salary cap, for a number of key additions. It should be a fun winter.

What formation will Struber play most? If it’s a 3-5-2 as he did at times in England, then they’re going to need another center back.

Rumors have it: Nothing of late. 

Projected XI (4-4-2 tight diamond, right to left): Meara; Edwards, Reyes, Long, Gutman; Davis; Casseres Jr., Valot; Clark; Royer, Fabio


Orlando City SC

Updated: Fri., Mar. 26 @ 12 pm ET

Here’s the latest: Orlando signed 17-year-old forward Alfredo Rivera to a homegrown contract this week.  

Transfer window analysis (so far): The Lions took a giant step forward in 2020 as one of the Eastern Conference’s best clubs, so it was imperative that on-loan players returned on permanent deals for 2021. Antonio Carlos, Alexander Alvarado, Andres Perea and Rodrigo Schlegel all saw their purchase options picked up. That made it a successful offseason, then further additions arrived.

With Daryl Dike on loan to Barnsley until the summer, Alexandre Pato should get plenty of chances to show his talent. What does the 31-year-old have left in the tank? 

Biggest question/hole: Orlando don’t have many obvious holes, with a number of strong attackers behind Dike’s emergence, though Dom Dwyer’s departure opened a DP spot. Will the club use that on another attacker? Meanwhile, Kamal Miller departing in the Expansion Draft and opened a need for some defensive depth. 

There’s a purchase clause in Dike’s loan. He’s absolutely tearing it up in England, making it increasingly unlikely he comes back (or stays for long if he does return.) Will Pato be enough if Dike doesn’t return? 

Rumors have it: All quiet in Orlando of late. 

Projected XI (4-2-3-1, right to left): Gallese; Ruan, Antonio Carlos, Jansson, Moutinho; Rosell, Junior Urso; Mueller, Pereyra, Nani; Pato


Philadelphia Union

Updated: Fri., Mar. 26 @ 12 p.m. ET

Here’s the latest: The Union are closing in on their second addition of the offseason, as sources confirmed to MLSsoccer.com that they’re on the verge of acquiring 20-year-old US youth international midfielder Leon Flach from FC St. Pauli. 

Transfer window analysis (so far): After winning the club’s first-ever trophy, Brenden Aaronson (officially) departed for RB Salzburg and Mark McKenzie wasn’t far behind to KRC Genk. The homegrown duo got sold for significant fees, marking tremendous and historic business for the club. They’re doing fantastic in that regard, but they have to replace those rising stars (with some combination of internal and external options). They have to keep doing this over and over to take their reputation to another level. Findlay seems like a shrewd piece of the puzzle.

Left back Kai Wagner signed a contract extension, dousing rumors that he might be nearing a move to England or Germany this winter. He’s been among the league’s top left backs over the last two seasons. It was a surprising bit of positive news.

Biggest question/hole: Which Homegrown signings are ready to make contributions immediately and which ones are more for the future? It won’t be easy replacing Aaronson and McKenzie, two nailed-on starters who were Best XI players last year. Will another key signing be made after Findlay? What about at right back? Gaddis started 15 of Philly’s 23 games last year. 

Rumors have it: All quiet after getting the Findlay deal done.

Projected XI (4-4-2 tight diamond, right to left): Blake; Mbazio, Elliott, Glesnes, Wagner; Martinez; Bedoya, Monteiro; Fontana; Przybylko, Santos


Portland Timbers

Updated: Thurs., Mar. 11 @ 4:30 p.m. ET

Here’s the latest: Portland and former Argentine youth international midfielder Tomas Conechny mutually agreed to part ways. He made only 28 appearances (six starts) after arriving in 2018. 

Transfer window analysis (so far): The Timbers got several deals done early this window to help the constant salary cap gymnastics and fit other additions. They generated GAM by trading Farfan (to LAFC), Julio Cascante (to Austin) and an international slot (to NYCFC). They opened cap space by trading Villafana. So far they’ve signed Argentine Claudio Bravo, a player they believe to be among the top left backs in the league, re-signed Larrys Mabiala and acquired Josecarlos Van Rankin. Three important moves for the backline.

With Felipe Mora’s return now official, it’s a nice piece of business to keep a proven contributor. Mora was on loan in 2020, notching seven goals and two assists in 1,204 minutes. With Jaroslaw Niezgoda out until around midseason, Portland will be well-covered up top by Mora and Jeremy Ebobisse. 

Biggest question/hole: Even with Van Rankin in, they probably need another depth signing at left back. In attack, despite injuries to DPs Sebastian Blanco and Niezgoda, they’re set for the beginning of the season as that duo rehabs. But they’ll hope Blanco (now 33) is the same player post-ACL tear and Valeri (turning 35 in May) continues to produce at the level he’s accustomed to.

Rumors have it: Jeremy Ebobisse and Eryk Williamson are said to have European suitors, though not much on either player of late.

Projected XI (4-2-3-1, right to left): Clark; Van Rankin, Mabiala, Zuparic, Bravo; D. Chara, Williamson; Y. Chara, Valeri, Blanco; Ebobisse


Real Salt Lake

Updated: Fri., Mar. 19 @ 12:30 p.m. ET

Here’s the latest: RSL added winger Anderson Julio from Liga MX side San Luis, giving Freddy Juarez another option in attack. 

Transfer window analysis (so far): With Real Salt Lake searching for new ownership, the front office is in a difficult spot when it comes to day-to-day decisions for next season. Signing Justen Glad to a contract extension was the first official piece of news, while forward Rubio Rubin is a low-risk flier on a 24-year-old former US international. Head coach Freddy Juarez will continue to search for the right combination of attacking pieces and a playoff return. 

Without Corey Baird (traded to LAFC), there’s a hole in the attack. Perhaps we’ll see the best of young DP Jeizon Ramirez in 2021? Or will Bobby Wood, who’s reportedly arriving this summer, fill that hole?

Biggest question/hole: The attack has options, but who will step up alongside Albert Rusnak and Damir Kreilach as key difference-makers? Can Ramirez seize that role? Is there a move lined up with the allocation received in the Baird trade? What will the offseason budget look like? There’s so much uncertainty around the team at the moment.

Rumors have it: RSL have approached Corinthians to acquire attacking midfielder Mateus Vital on loan for the 2021 MLS season with a purchase option, according to reports. 

Projected XI (4-3-3, right to left): Putna; Herrera, Glad, Silva, Toia; Everton Luiz, Kreilach; Ramirez, Rusnak, Julio; Rubin


San Jose Earthquakes

Updated: Thurs., Feb. 18 @ 3:30 pm ET

Here’s the latest: The Quakes added a pair of players, trading for midfielder Eric Remedi and signing Argentine right back Luciano Abecasis. They both previously played under Matias Almeyda. 

Transfer window analysis (so far): After originally intending to retire after 2020, the goal king returned. Chris Wondolowski officially signed a one-year contract with his beloved Quakes, returning for another ride. Wondo returning is a feel-good story for most in MLS; it’s always great to see legends stick around when they still can. He led the team in goals again last year! Remedi could be a shrewd acquisition, adding depth and quality to the midfield. 

Is Chofis Lopez the answer at No. 10? That’ll go a long way into determining whether or not this winter was a success. 

Biggest question/hole: No. 10 was the big hole, but that’s filled. Will they bring in another center forward to alleviate the burden on Wondo? 

Rumors have it: Not much of late. 

Projected XI (4-4-1-1, right to left): Marcinkowski; Thompson, Jungwirth, Alanis, Lopez; Espinoza, Judson, Yueill, Fierro; Lopez; Wondolowski


Seattle Sounders

Updated: Fri., Mar. 5 @ 10 am ET

Here’s the latest: He’s back: Seattle have signed Fredy Montero, the club’s all-time leading scorer who spent the last few seasons in Vancouver. He had 47 goals and 34 assists in 119 regular-season appearances for the Sounders, while his 60 goals in all competitions remain a club record.

Transfer window analysis (so far): Montero boosts an already deep forward group that includes Raul Ruidiaz and Will Bruin. With Jordan Morris back from loan but injured with a torn ACL, could this signal more two-forward formations for a club that almost always had played 4-2-3-1? 

They also re-acquired Joao Paulo on a permanent transfer from Botafogo and agreed to a contract extension with Nicolas Lodeiro, who was entering the final year of his contract. Two big moves. 

Biggest question/hole: Down the spine, the Sounders remain strong with Stefan Frei, Yeimar Gomez Andrade, Joao Paulo, Cristian Roldan, Lodeiro and Raul Ruidiaz. But they need additions out wide, including right back and both wings. Kelyn Rowe should help across numerous positions, though.

It’s never easy to keep championship teams together in a salary cap league, with all the performance-bonuses paid out amid the success and teams looking to sign your players. That’s the case for Seattle, who have had their depth cut down a bit this offseason. 

Rumors have it: Not much on Seattle in the rumor mill.

Projected XI (4-2-3-1, right to left): Frei; A. Roldan, Andrade, Arreaga, Smith; Joao Paulo, C. Roldan; Rowe, Lodeiro, Montero; Ruidiaz


Sporting KC

Updated: Fri., Mar. 5 @ 10 a.m. ET

Here’s the latest: Sporting KC added French center back Nicolas Isimat-Mirin, a player with plenty of experience in Europe. 

Transfer window analysis (so far): SKC’s big additions this winter have been midfielder Remi Walter, a 25-year-old who can play in the No. 6 and No. 8 roles, and center back Nicolas Isimat-Mirin. Both have had extensive experience across Europe. 

Club legend Matt Besler departed after his contract expired, ditto for Felipe Gutierrez and Gerso Fernandes.

Biggest question/hole: How can the club replace Besler’s presence in the locker room and on the backline? They conceded three goals in each of their two playoff games. There’s also the future of homegrown midfielder Gianluca Busio. The US youth international has plenty of suitors abroad, while SKC rejected a bid from Fiorentina last winter. Will the right offer and opportunity come along?

Rumors have it: All quiet of late. 

Projected XI (4-3-3, right to left): Melia; Lindsey, Puncec, Isimat-Mirin, Martins; Ilie, Busio, Kinda; Russell, Pulido, Shelton


Toronto FC

Updated: Fri., Feb. 26 @ 5 pm ET

Here’s the latest: Toronto re-signed a pair of veterans, as left back Justin Morrow and center back Eriq Zavaleta have officially returned for 2021. 

Transfer window analysis (so far): Toronto’s biggest decision of the offseason has been made: Chris Armas is the club’s next head coach.

On the player side, all Toronto have announced were contract decisions, which included opening a DP spot by declining Pablo Piatti’s option. Ali Curtis and Bill Manning have expressed that Piatti could return on a non-DP deal, which would be the best of both worlds for TFC if they can swing it. Curtis updated media on Jan. 14 that those conversations remain ongoing. Either way, opening another DP spot is big for the ambitious club.

Biggest question/hole: Toronto return the vast majority of their core from last year, sans Piatti. Curtis and Manning said the DP spot is likely earmarked for another key player in attack, so expect a big addition in that area of the field. 

How will Armas put his stamp on this squad? He intends to focus on intensity and transition, plus some high pressing, but didn’t promise to go all-in on that. 

Rumors have it: On the DP front, they’ve been linked to River Plate forward Santos Borre. They’ve also been linked with French defender Loick Landre.

Projected XI (4-2-3-1, right to left): Westberg; Laryea, Gonzalez, Mavinga, Morrow; Bradley, Delgado; Akinola, Pozuelo, Osorio; Altidore


Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Updated: Fri., Mar. 19 @ 12 p.m. ET

Here’s the latest: The Whitecaps officially signed right back Bruno Gaspar from Sporting CP, who joins on loan with a purchase option around $1.75 million, as well as Brazilian midfielder Caio Alexandre from Botafogo.

Transfer window analysis (so far): Vancouver retained a number of players from their 2020 squad after an offseason of rebuilding. The club is looking for greater continuity and believes that with natural progression, and a few key additions, 2021 will be a better year. Deiber Caicedo, Alexandre and Gaspar are the club’s major additions, an efficient boost to the starting XI as all three are expected to be regulars. 

Biggest question/hole: Stop me where you’ve read this one before: DP No. 10. Vancouver have been consistent with this desire essentially since the day Inbeom Hwang was transferred to Rubin Kazan. They’ve been consistent with this message in a handful of press conferences since.

The above sentences were written when this story was originally published early into the offseason. They have not needed an update. They still are searching for a DP No. 10 and it remains their biggest question/hole, even with preseason underway. At one point I wrote something to the effect of “rest assured, a DP No. 10 will be signed.” It’s taking a lot longer than expected.

Rumors have it: All quiet since Alexandre’s deal became official. 

Projected XI (4-3-3, right to left): Crepeau; Gaspar, Godoy, Veselinovic, Adnan; Baldisimo, Bikel, Alexandre; Dajome, Cavallini, Caicedo

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